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Unemployment rate shows improvement in Dallas County

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Selma and Dallas County both saw declines in their unemployment rates as cities and counties throughout the state continue to show improvement.

Selma’s unemployment rate dropped 0.7 points, from 7.1 percent to 6.4. Dallas County’s unemployment rate dropped 0.7 points, from 6.6 percent to 5.9.

Out of the 26 city areas, all 26 saw drops in their unemployment from the previous month and were lower in March 2018 than it was in the previous year at the same time for non-seasonally adjusted numbers. All but one of the 67 counties saw drops in unemployment as well with Clay County being the lone exception.

Despite seasonally-adjusted March unemployment increasing one-tenth of a point to 3.8 percent, according to the Alabama Dept. of Labor, wage and salary employment increased by 12,600 from February to March. The state also added 20,000 jobs over the course of 2018.

“Alabama is benefiting from a strong economy right now, and this month’s unemployment numbers show that we are keeping that momentum going,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said.

“Alabamians are working and employers are adding jobs. Not only that, but wages are rising as well. Our construction industry is recording its highest weekly wages in more than a decade.”

In the construction industry, average weekly earnings rose to $975.53 in March, which is a $64 increase from February and a $87.99 from March 2017.

With Selma and Dallas County both seeing employment improvements, they will hope to keep the positive momentum moving forward.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby (2.8), Cullman (3.2) and Marshall Counties (3.3). Counties with the highest rates were Wilcox (9.4), Clarke (7.4) and Lowndes (6.9).

Despite Wilcox County having the highest unemployment rate, the number is moving in the right direction, down from the previous month’s rate of 10.5.